c32 Seymour–Lynn Cycle Loop 35k for TCT25 Program in 2017
Selfie: at one of the Bear Island Bridges
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About the Journey:
Because of a serious rock fall in the Seymour River south of Twin Bridges, it is, at least for now, not possible to cross at the Twin Bridges on the Fisherman's Trail. Hence, the south section is not possible at this time. Our revisions reflect this.
This loop features a 11 km paved pathway in a mature forest, a primitive forest, the Seymour Dam and Reservoir, the Fisherman's Trail along the Seymour River, the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge and Lynn River, Water Reservoir plant, picturesque Rice Lake and much more. It is quite hilly and therefore the 34.3 km distance is a bit deceiving in terms of the time it takes to do this loop.
See the full description in 'Directions' below. Go to the following links for:
Note that the orange track is the complete cycle route described here. The 'Downloadable' section gives instruction on how to download the tracks using your smartphone or Garmin device.
Metro Cycle Trail Loop
Seymour Headwaters – Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver District
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Distance: 34.3 km (35.3 km via Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge) (Add another 1.9k if you walk your bike around Rice Lake)
Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate. There are stairs at the suspension bridge (lift bike), and, at times, require to use the lowest gears.
Suggested Starting and End Point: At the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Main Parking Lot and Information Center.
Connecting Roads – Main route: 3 km when using alternate via Suspension Bridge.
Trails and Pathways – 31 km
Mode of travel: Well maintained Mountain Bike. Pay particular attention to brakes, chain, and derailleur.
Low altitude – 16m/50ft -- High altitude - 274m/900ft with many changes of elevation (630m/2067 ft)
Time allowed: 5 to 7 hrs including lunch
Fitness level: Should be in good physical condition, have experienced cycling over 40k, and able to handle hills - intermediate level cross-country cyclist.
Food breaks: Coffee shop in Lynn Canyon Park.
Features and Descriptions
Parking and Information
Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Main Parking Lot is accessed after driving on Lillooet Rd. for about 4.7k.
Once parked and ready to proceed, head towards the Information Centre where maps and other information is available.
Seymour Valley Trailway
Expect a wonderful 11k wide paved path through dense forest. It has a number of moderate inclines that offers quite a bit of downhill riding as well.
Start by taking the first short path to the right away from this paved route for about 340m. Then it’s on the Seymour Valley Trailway the rest of the way. It is also highly recommended, after another 240m to dip to the left for a short visit of beautiful Rice Lake (see below for a description). Note that if you intend to go around the lake near the end of the day, you don’t need to do this now).
Along the way there are several rest areas with washrooms, many creek crossings, a re-established forest that reveals a greater past evidenced by a myriad of giant old growth stumps left from former logging.
Old Growth/Coho Trail, Hatchery and the Dam (Walk your bike past walkers on these narrow trails)
At the end of the Seymour Valley Trailway take the trail indicating Old Growth Trail to experience an enchanted forest, the Fish Hatchery, and finally the Seymour Falls Dam (2k) holding back Vancouver’s water supply. If the hatchery is open (usually open until 3:00 pm) go through its grounds taking in interpretive signs while heading towards the dam. Otherwise, follow the trail around the hatchery. Head up a short lived service road to the dam past an outhouse to the lookout over the Seymour Reservoir and the Seymour Falls Dam operations. Then retrace your way back towards the Fish Hatchery and head for two green truss bridges.
Bear Island and Spur 4 Route
Bear Island is flanked by two impressive steel truss bridges in close proximity to each other at the head of the Seymour River. From the bridges it is possible to get great views of the Dam.
Once across the bridges one is immediately greeted by a 270m steep one-track trail. Cycling all the way up this path, challenges even the best of us into submission.
At the top of this trail (14k so far) is the start of a 7.5k Spur 4 Service Road shared occasionally with service vehicles. Much of this route above the east side of the Seymour River goes through a younger forest. The route extends to Spur 4 Bridge to a trail intersection. Take the left trail, Fisherman’s Trail. Note that shortly after starting on Spur 4 there is a k12 marker, the start of a countdown. Take care once past the k8 marker to turn right all the way to the bridge and not take the other two roads encountered on the left.
Note that at this trail intersection there is an option to cut short this ride by about 12k back to the parking lot by taking the 1.1k Hydraulic Connector Trail, a somewhat technical one-track trail. The less experienced rider would likely walk some sections of this trail.
Fisherman’s Trail (Walk your bike past walkers on these narrow trails)
The trail varies greatly, sometimes quite narrow, goes over a lengthy boardwalk and offers great opportunities to appreciate the river, marshes, varied forest, and traces of past human activity. There are a few rough spots but it is a continuous and gentle downhill.Twin Bridges is now only one new bridge that will now be taken out because of a rock fall downstream.
Descriptions on the Lower Lynn-Seymour Walking Trails
Seymour River Regional Greenway to North Vancouver Cemetery
Starting at the 32.5k point of this trip, a 1.7k path is paved up to the northern boundary of the Capilano University parking lots. Be prepared to gear down for a climb. From here it turns into a gravel path that runs into a long stairway with a baseboard that allows a bike to be pushed all the way up with several resting stages. From here it is only a short distance before there is a descent into a cemetery. Cross the cemetery to its entrance at Lillooet Rd. The trail may continue behind the cemetery at a later time. Much of this route follows a power line right-of-way and offers a few viewpoints.
Off and on a berm path along Lillooet Road
First head north along a sidewalk to re-enter the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and start riding on a gravel path on a berm overlooking the road. Watch for the second crosswalk. Cross over and take a gravel path in the forest. Do not take a trail that veers to the left. You will end up right back to Lillooet Road. Cross over the road and berm trail to the Richard Juryn Trail.
Follow the 1k forested Richard Juryn Trail to the Lord Baden Powell Trail and turn left back to the berm path above Lillooet Rd. Stay on this path for 1.1k to the water filtering operations. Just before a climbing path with handrails overlooking these operations cross Lillooet Road and take a gravel path to the main path that heads for the Suspension Bridge or in the opposite direction to the Rice Lake Rd Trail, if not going to the suspension bridge.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge alternative
Turn left and follow directional signage to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Here you must walk your bike to cross the bridge and carry your bike up a set of stairs. From there, head out of Lynn Canyon Park. Turn right on Henderson Ave and towards the left to Lynn Valley Rd. Follow Lynn Valley Rd north all the way to Lynn Headwaters Valley Park and pedestrian bridge.
Skipping the Suspension Bridge
Don’t head for the Suspension Bridge but turn right instead. Turn left at the sign post indicating the trail to a bus stop on Lynn Valley Road. Follow this to Rice Lake Road pedestrian bridge. Follow Rice Lake Road to Lynn Valley Rd. Turn right and follow this road all the way into Lynn Headwaters Valley Park and Bridge at k40.
Cross the Bridge, turn right and follow this path all the way back to the parking lot with an option of walking your bike around Rice Lake on the way.
Rice Lake Alternative
If you have time, it is really worthwhile to walk your bike on a 2k excellent and mainly level trail around the lake. Take the first entrance at the top of the hill from the Lynn Headwaters Bridge and follow the trail all the way around to the next entrance after passing the area that has outhouses and water access facilities. Due to this trail being very popular with walkers you must walk your bike. – A great way to finish the day.